Friday, March 1, 2013
Friday's Volume: Island of Saints by Andy Andrews
When a music student's parent dropped a humidifier off at my front door this week, she also included a bag filled with such necessary items one needs when sick: cough drops, Vitamin C, seltzer, night time medicine, green and herbal teas .... and a book. With an already insurmountable pile of "to reads" waiting, I thought, I'll be on my 6th antibiotic before I can get to this one. However, as I positioned myself on my trusty couch yesterday morning with my hot tea and electric throw, I picked up the book that I had placed on top of the stack ... and I never put it down.
Though the names have been changed to literally protect the innocent, Andy Andrews has embarked upon a story which reads like fiction; but is not. While digging up a wax myrtle in his own backyard on the northern Gulf of Mexico, the author unearthed a rusty old can that housed Nazi artifacts and 3 very old photographs ... one which included Hitler himself. Putting aside his other writing assignments for this one adventure, Andrews goes on the search of a lifetime, and what he discovers rocks his world. And many of those around him.
Because it is a true story, I had to really discipline myself NOT to turn to the last page and see how it ends. After all, fiction often comes wrapped in lovely paper with pretty bows. But life rarely does. I encourage the reader to use the same restraint and just read for the ride. You won't be sorry.
If you are a history buff, well then you have U-boats in the Gulf of Mexico and a Nazi walking the streets of a Southern coastal town during WWII. If you like love, there's that, too. But Island of Saints is not just a novel and it won't be found in the fiction, romance or historical sections. Rather, you will find it in the "Self-help" section for reasons the author himself explains. As the subtitle reads, it's "A Story of the One Principle that Frees the Human Spirit." What might that be? Well, dear reader, you'll just have to get the book and find out for yourself.
With a copyright date of 2005, it might not be the newest read out there. But that doesn't change the fact that it's still a wonderful story and well worth your time. And besides, you'll be smarter when you're through.
**Note: When I text the mother to thank her and tell her how much I was enjoying the book, she told me that she grew up in that area and that her relatives are mentioned in the book. It's a true story y'all. Keep that in mind as you read it.